Palestinian / Israeli Arabs in Israel

Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

One historic event can be interpreted in many ways. The Israelis call the Jewish-Arab war of 1948, "The War of Israeli Independence." The Palestinian Arabs call this same period the "al-Nakba" or "The Catastrophe." About 80% of the Arabs who lived in the territory that became Israel were either expelled or fled. The Israeli government have passed laws stating that those Arabs who left cannot return to Israel. The Palestinians who now live in Israel are the descendants of the 20% of Arabs who remained in Israel. Palestinian Arabs currently make up roughly 20% of the Israeli population. The Arabs population is growing to the fact that Arab families tend to have a larger number of children than do the Jewish Israelis.
The Israeli government gave the Palestinians living in Israel the choice of becoming citizens or staying permanent residents. Some Arabs chose to become citizens. They are eligible to vote in elections and take civil service jobs. Some Arabs reject the whole idea of the Zionism and declined citizenship. Arabs political parties that call for the destruction of the state of Israel are outlawed. The primary language of Palestinian Arabs is their dialect of Levantine Arabic. They also speak modern Hebrew. Educated Palestinians speak English.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The lifestyle of Palestinian Arabs varies greatly. Some are fully integrated into Israel's modern industrial economy while others live as Bedouins and farmers much like their ancestors did. Educated Palestinian who become citizens hold prestigious jobs such are university professors, engineers, business owners, and physicians. The less educated Palestinians live in villages, farm the land, and take care of goats and sheep. Some Arab villages are without electricity and access clean water and indoor plumbing. Many Palestinians who live in rural areas consider any cooperation with the Jewish Israelis as treason. Despite a measure of discrimination, the Palestinians in Israel are better off economically than the Arabs of the neighboring Arab-led nations. Although a Muslim man can marry up to four wives, the large majority of Palestinian men have one wife. Children, especially boys, are viewed as a blessing from Allah. As a result, Arab parents have many children. Sons inherit land and property upon the death of their father. Traditionally, Arab parents chose the spouse of their son or daughter. Today more young people choose their own spouse with the approval of their families. The diet of rural Palestinians basically consists of wheat bread and porridge made with boiled meat or chicken.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The large majority of Palestinians are Muslims, mostly Sunnis. The number of Christian Palestinians is estimated to be between five and nine percent. Many of the Christians are migrating to Europe or North America. Christian and Druze Arabs are often placed in separate ethnic categories. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

What Are Their Needs?

 There is a great need for the biblical gospel to be preached among the Palestinian Arabs in Israel.
A Palestinian Muslim who professes faith in Jesus Christ can lose his family, his honor, his job, or even his life. Evangelization efforts are challenging due to restrictions as well as general antagonism to Christianity. Prayerful intercession is the key to reaching them with the gospel. Teams of medical and agricultural workers could show the rural Palestinians the love of Christ.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Arab, Palestinian / Israeli in Israel.

Pray that God will raise up faithful intercessors who will stand in the gap for the Palestinian Arabs in Israel.
Ask God to give Palestinian Arab believers opportunities to share the love of Christ with their own people.
Pray that their traditional Muslim culture will soften, creating open doors for the good news to be preached among Palestinian Arabs.
Ask the Lord to raise up strong Disciple Making Movement among the Palestinian Arabs in this decade.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-12-04
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-12-09
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-12-30
People Name General Arab, Palestinian
People Name in Country Arab, Palestinian / Israeli
Natural Name Palestinian / Israeli Arabs
Population this Country 1,488,000
Population all Countries 11,044,000
Total Countries 25
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 30
Alternate Names Arabic, Palestinian-Jordanian; Gazan Arab; Israeli Arab Muslim; Lebanese Arab; Levantine Arabs; Palestinian Arab; Syro-Lebanese Arab
People ID 14276
ROP3 Code 107785
Country Israel
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Israel
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Primary Language Arabic, South Levantine Spoken
Language Code ajp   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Madani
Dialect Code 7148   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Arabic, South Levantine Spoken
Language Code ajp   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Madani
Dialect Code 7148   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Arabic, South Levantine Spoken

Primary Language:  Arabic, South Levantine Spoken

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1940-1946)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Arabic Bibles Online
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Film / Video God's Way: 10. Isa & the Victory Over Death - ArabSub
Film / Video God's Way: 6. Musa & the Blood of Sacrifice - ArabSub
Film / Video God's Way: 6. Musa & the Blood of Sacrifice - EngSub
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Arabic, South Levantine Spoken
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.85 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
4.00 %
0.00 %
90.00 %
1.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
16.0 %
56.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
4.0 %
Roman Catholic
24.0 %
Photo Source pxfuel  Creative Commons  Used with permission
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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